BRU - Rebranding of the Brussels-Capital Region

BRU - Rebranding of the Brussels-Capital Region — Margo Van Onderbergen

Applied Context  2021—2022

Brand essence

The essence in the branding of the Brussels-Capital Region lies in a clear and all inclusive communication. To achieve this goal, there are two main focal points that are integrated throughout the branding.

Functionality: To visually support the informative function of the Brussels-Capital Region, a fitting representation is needed. A functional and structural overview is required for the wide range of  information that is offered by the region. Therefore an organised and easy-going look and feel is visible throughout the entire branding of the Brussels-Capital Region.

Multilingualism: The Brussels-Capital Region is one of the most multicultural places in the world and therefore requires a branding that represents its diversity. A multicultural society comes along with multilingualism. Based on this observation, bearing in mind the informative function of the region, the new branding has as mission to provide a multilingual communication. In this way, the region takes on an approachable attitude creating the opportunity to converse with a wide audience.


Name: BRU is the official abbreviation used as the international IATA airport code and also functions from now on as the new brand name and logo for the Brussels-Capital Region. This international factor means that ‘BRU’ is recognizable for people from both within and far outside the Brussels-Capital Region. The three letter brand name is short, powerful and has a lot of potential. By using this abbreviation, the region puts itself on the map as a wide-ranging brand since the letters ‘B’, ’R’ and ‘U’ are the first three letters of the word ‘Brussels’ in the most commonly used languages: Dutch, French, English but also in countless other languages.

Graphic: The graphic three-letter symbol is the result of an investigation into the different spoken languages in the Brussels-Capital Region. Within this enormous collection of different languages, six scripts were distinguished: the Latin, Cyrillic, Arabic, Devanagari, Chinese and Japanese script. A recognizable element was then taken from each of these six scripts. The logo of the Brussels-Capital Region is the outcome of these different elements combined.

Referring to the distinct scripts of different cultures, the logo represents the diverse personality of the region. Despite the logo being made out of different elements, the logo still rules as one. This symbolizes a general connection that everyone with their own feature is part of. The logo therefore is one of diversity and inclusion.


Noto: Noto is a font especially designed for all languages. It is a collection of high-quality fonts available in more than 1,000 languages and over 150 writing systems from Latin, Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew to all Indic scripts. The letterforms are crafted by experienced type designers from all over the world. The designs are in harmony but retain the authentic flavors that make each script special. Noto is ideal to internationalize the visual design of the branding. Noto is the only font used to create clean, consistent typography across many scripts and languages.


Black and white: A conscious decision was made not to use color in the context of the diverse region. Colors have different meanings within different cultures. For example, in Muslim countries, green is a holy color. In Ireland, it is associated with good luck. In China, however, green is associated with infidelity and lack of trust. Red, meanwhile, is considered lucky in Chinese and Native American cultures, but others carry connotations of danger and sacrifice for other audiences. By using only black and white, which are technically not colors, the region takes a neutral and timeless stand while adapting itself to a diversity of different cultures and people.


Nothing is more approachable than a simple greeting. The region provides tote bags for its residents with ‘hello’ printed on them in their spoken language. The tote bags are a way to for people to identify theirselves but also an opportunity to spread awareness about the many languages ​​spoken in the region. They take on the role of a walking advertisement promoting multilingualism in the Brussels-Capital region.